ICRPG—Dark Sun



I’m deep down the Dark Sun rabbit hole (HEEEEeeeeellllppp!!!) and after watching Hank’s YT videos I feel inspired. Going to a con in October and plan on running it. Just not 100% sure which system I’ll use yet. I’ve been looking at Blood & Snow for ideas

How would you handle the Defiling vs Preserving way of casting spells in ICRPG?


This is my try at Dark Sun … always a work in progress… Ezzerhardens Dark Sun


When a spell caster uses Defiling energy to cast a spell, use the spell tag DEFILE .

DEFILE : -2 HP to all living creatures within CLOSE, except the caster. The Caster gains +2 MAGIC EFFORT for every living creature within CLOSE per spell cast. Normal Terrain modifiers DO NOT apply when living creatures are CLOSE. If no living creatures are CLOSE, terrain modifiers DO apply.

Each use of Defiling Magic gets increasingly difficult each time a spell is cast in the same CLOSE area. -1 cumalitive penalty is added to terrain modifiers every casting. Succesful or not.

Defiling magic takes all the life force from the surrounding flora and fauna as fuel for magic. This leaves an ashy burned mark on an area around the mage. The more spells that are cast the darker and larger the charred area becomes.


When a spell caster uses Preserving energy to cast a spell, use the spell tag PRESERVE.

PRESERVE : Spells are cast normally. Normal Terrain Modifiers still apply.

Game On!


Hail, @NoSleevesMcGee!

Dark Sun is a fantastic setting that should be explored more in “official” content. The 2E days, as noted in Hank’s video, provided some amazing setting information that you may wish to check out for inspiration.

Regarding defiling versus preserving, @Ezzerharden’s suggestion should work great. You might also consider building in some mercurial effects as in DCC, specific to the spell being cast, with particular emphasis on the defiling. For example, perhaps each time you cast Scorching Ray, the surrounding area heats up and vegetation wilts and dies. Maybe casting earth based magic petrifies organic material in some area of effect, or causes living organisms (read PCs and NPCs) to suffer exhaustion.

In other words, you should give Ezzer’s mechanical ideas a try. And then also, per his example, ground that in the fiction. Why are people taking -2 HP? Because the temperature just went up 40 degrees, or whatever.



I think there are a couple different ways to go about it. One would be to make Preserver magic HARD to cast (maybe burn a hit point to make normal), and just keep the defiling magic flavor - everyone knows what they’re doing when they use their magic. The other way would be to make Defiler magic EASY based on the terrain they are in, i.e. the presence of abundant plant-life, or touching a living thing lacking conscious will. I would caution against Defiler magic causing damage to others, as players are likely to attempt to weaponize that. You could also create a hierarchy of terrain types, such as: forest/marsh, grassy plain/savanna, bad lands, bare rock, dunes, silt. Casting Defiler magic simply decreases the NEAR area around the caster on the hierarchy. Casting could start out easier in lusher terrain types, and get harder - but I think Preserver magic should always be harder, or more personally costly. Good luck!


Thank you all for your input and ideas so far. It’s much appreciated.